The American University in Cairo (AUC) will host the Cairo Documentary Festival, March 20 to 26, 2011. Under the theme, “Egypt Rising,” the festival is organized by the university’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, and Egyptology and will feature documentaries that depict social and cultural issues in Egypt and the Middle East. The last day of the festival will feature documentaries on Egypt’s January 25 revolution, including a series of short Internet-based videos. As part of the day’s events, a panel of filmmakers, scholars, activists and archivists will participate in a panel discussion on the intersection of technology, aesthetics, politics and the challenges of documenting revolution in real time.
Mark Westmoreland, AUC professor of anthropology and a documentary filmmaker noted the diversity of documentaries featured in the festival, “We have a wide range of films from different countries in the region that tackle Egyptian, Palestinian and Iranian issues, as well as other interesting documentaries from Turkey, and Sudan.”
The festival will include screenings of the participating documentaries and panel discussions. In addition, a number of featured documentaries will be presented, such as Garbage Dreams and a segment of Mafrouza. Other participating films include, Camelrama, an experimental travel film; Walls, the Turkish experience after the fall of the Berlin Wall; Fashioning Faith, which tackles the topic of Islamic fashions in New York city; Coffee Futures, which forecasts EU/Turkey relations; Still which explores tensions in Cyprus; and Imperial Outposts, that examines the history of U.S. military bases in Turkey. Also, the festival includes two films that tackle Iranian political consciousness. Plastic Flowers Never Die examines the commemoration of Iranian martyrs and the social climate that sent millions to their deaths, while Iran: Voices of the Unheard presents a diverse set of contemporary views.
Westmoreland said that documentary screenings will be followed by question and answer sessions with featured filmmakers. “This is a great opportunity for the Egyptian community to watch good-quality documentaries that do not get the same exposure commercial movies receive. The screenings and discussions will also foster good discussions and exchange of ideas among filmmakers from the region,” he elaborated.
The festival will take submissions that address January 25 revolution until March 18, submissions and questions can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org .
The festival will take place at AUC New Cairo and Tahrir Square campuses and is open for members from outside the AUC community at no cost. More information can be obtained from the festival’s website: http://aucdocfest.blogspot.com .